Calabar Port Dredging Contract worth $12.5M: NPA Begins Out-of-court Settlement
Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), yesterday, said the federal government has initiated out of court settlement with Niger Global Engineering and Technical Company Limited over the $12.5million Calabar Port dredging contract.
Speaking to newsmen after a tour of the Calabar Port and after paying a courtesy visit on the Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, the managing director, Mohammed Bello-Koko, said litigation between the agency and the dredging company has stalled the dredging of the Calabar channel.
He, however, disclosed that NPA, Federal Ministries of Transportation and Justice have resumed discussions on how to settle the issue out of court so that Calabar port dredging can continue and vessels with deeper draught can berth at the port.
He said, “the channel management was awarded many years ago but there is litigation between the Nigerian Ports Authority and the contractor that was awarded the contract and this has inhibited our ability to dredge the channel. But, what we have done in recent time is to start looking for out of court settlement.
“The port authority is working with federal ministry of transportation and ministry of justice, they have resumed discussions in terms of how to settle this out of court. That has to be done inorder for us to either return the same contractor to continue dredging or appoint another company to do the dredging of the channel. That has been what has delayed or stopped the dredging of that channel, we have taken it very serious, it is one of the reasons why we are here today and to also meet with terminal operators and discuss with them, reassure them that government is taking all necessary action to ensure that the issue is taken care of as soon as possible,” he said.
The NPA boss also disclosed that draft limitations has been hindering the calling of vessels at the Calabar Port but disclosed that discussion is ongoing with importers for more vessels to berth at the port using flat bottom vessels.